Match Report -
Decisions change games
By Deborah Taylor

Decisions change games. After losing Connor O’Grady to a red card for a last man foul on Aaron Opoku, Leek had the upper hand and never lost it as they beat Celtic 5-1.

In the first attack, Leek laid out their credentials. A lofted ball held up, preventing Hewitson from reaching it as Celtic struggled to clear. Rob Stevenson lobbed the stranded Celtic keeper. However, Celtic came back strongly. Within five minutes had equalised when Matty Bryan put a sensational cross through the box for Max Leonard to get his head on. Matt Corran pulled off a stunning save, clawing the header away from under the bar. Leonard reacted quickest and headed the spinning ball into the back of the net.

Stevenson, coming back from an offside position, held O’Grady up just long enough for Opoku to latch onto a through ball. To stop him, O’Grady slid from behind, getting his tackle wrong on the edge of the box and receiving a straight red card. It could have been worse when Daniel Trickett-Smith’s free kick whipped around the wall. Hewitson made a great stop, pushing the ball off the post and out for a corner. Moments later and Trickett-Smith had another chance, this time from open play, but again Hewitson denied him. Leek were irrepressible. When Stevenson cut inside and curled a top corner shot from twenty-yards, they deserved to be in front. Celtic could have pulled level just before the interval when Aaron Dwyer got his head on a Matty Bryan cross, but put it wide.

A goal and a man down at the start of the second period, Celtic needed to keep it tight. Greg Wilkinson’s back pass barely reached the box before Opoku reached it and went one-on-one. Hewitson denied Opoku, but the rebound fell to Trickett-Smith, who slotted home. It went from a mountain to climb to a mountain range when Trickett-Smith fired through a crowd with a low shot and put the visitors three goals up. Matty Bryan thought he’d pulled one back stooping to head in a free kick, but was apparently offside. The mountain range went to the Himalayas when Milovanavic whipped a ball to the back post and Stevenson arrived to volley in his hat-trick. With ten minutes remaining, both teams still tried to play football. Milovanavic put in another good cross and three Leek players arrived to reach it, but failed. Matty Bryan came close to snatching a consolation, heading over a Max Harrop cross. Celtic need to bounce back against Newcastle who just beat the league leaders.

1Corran, Matt  
2Buckley, Liam  
3Keenan, Louis  
4Grocott, Marc  
5Harrison, Oliver  
6Ndene, Julius  
7Davidson, Ross  > 58
8Scully, Tom  
9Opoku, Aaron  > 62
10Trickett-Smith, Daniel  
11Stevenson, Rob  > 79
12Milovanivic, Saul  < 58
14Carr, Tom  < 62
15Avery, Jake  < 79
16Watts, Patrick  
17O'Shaughnessy, Joe